Court reporting

Be aware tweeting allowed in some courtrooms but not others

This is another in a series of articles by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press covering legal issues that affect journalists. RCFP's McCormick Legal Fellow Jamie Schuman wrote this article. George Zimmerman, right, stands with his attorneys, Mark O'Mara, left, and Don West, center, as they watch the jury enter the courtroom on the 17th day … Read More

How to cover a court trial: 6 tips for journalists

As newsrooms continue to contract, some media outlets have been criticized for their diminishing coverage of the courts, including high-profile trials. As journalists move to other beats or leave their newsrooms, their institutional knowledge about how to cover trials goes with them. Here are six tips for writers who might be new to a courtroom, and what they … Read More

Kermit Gosnell verdict reached, but reporters told to turn off phones

Facebook The Philadelphia Inquirer announced just before 2:30 p.m. that a verdict had been reached in the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortion doctor accused of killing four babies born alive and an adult patient. Jurors have been deliberating for 10 days. The paper announced on its Facebook page: There is a verdict … Read More

Why the Supreme Court should allow TV cameras in the courtroom

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments about the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. Yesterday, the court considered whether states can ban same-sex marriage. You can read tweets about these historic hearings as the morning goes on, but the court will not let you watch them and access is limited. The craziest part … Read More

CNN issues correction, Fox issues statement on Supreme Court reporting mistakes

The ruling has come down: Both CNN and Fox badly bungled their reporting of today's landmark Supreme Court opinion on healthcare. And both organizations have taken very different routes to correcting their mistakes. Here's Fox's correction, via Mediaite: We gave our viewers the news as it happened. When Justice Roberts said, and we read, that the mandate was not valid under the Commerce clause, we reported it. Bill Hemmer even added, be patient as we work through this. Then when we heard and read, that the mandate could be upheld under the government’s power to tax, we reported that as well—all within two minutes. By contrast, one other cable network was unable to get their Supreme Court reporter to the camera, and said as much. Another said it was a big setback for the President. Fox reported the facts, as they came in. And here's CNN's: In his opinion, Chief Justice Roberts initially said that the individual mandate was not a valid exercise of Congressional power under the Commerce Clause. CNN reported that fact, but then wrongly reported that therefore the court struck down the mandate as unconstitutional. However, that was not the whole of the Court’s ruling. CNN regrets that it didn't wait to report out the full and complete opinion regarding the mandate. We made a correction within a few minutes and apologize for the error. Read More